Govt in bind as trafficking victims from Bangla end up in Bengal for rehab

About 350 Bangladeshi women and children were recently sent to Bengal from other states just because they spoke Bengali

Hundreds of Bangladeshi women and children, who were trafficked to cities like Mumbai and Bangalore, have been sent to West Bengal for rehabilitation just because they speak Bengali.

The West Bengal government raised the issue with the Centre and the Maharashtra government during a meeting in Salt Lake on Thursday.

"We have requested both the Centre and the state not to send women and children to West Bengal without checking their actual addresses. We have told them that not all Bengali-speaking people are residents of West Bengal," a senior women and children and social welfare department official said.

Recently, 350 Bangladeshi women and children were sent to West Bengal just because they spoke Bengali, after being rescued from brothels and other places. The state government had to accept them because the order regarding their transfer was given by courts of Child Welfare Committees of Maharashtra. "This has become a routine affair. Bangladeshi women and children are sent to our state from other states like Karnataka, Punjab and Delhi," an official said.

Criminal Investigation Department (CID) officers have also confirmed that many women and children, who are not residents of West Bengal, were sent to the state for rehabilitation.

"We have repatriated more than 450 Bangladeshi women and children to Bangladesh and sent back more than 100 to Mumbai. The Maharashtra police had sent them to West Bengal without verifying their citizenship. This is not a fair practice because such a move puts huge pressure on 18 shelter homes run by the West Bengal government and 28 run by NGOs," an official of the women and child development department told The Indian Express.

Roshni Sen, women and child development secretary, confirmed the report. "The meeting was held to discuss the standard operating procedure of repatriation of Bangladeshi citizens and the Maharashtra government representatives will be urged to send women to West Bengal only after confirming the addresses of the rescued women and children," she said.

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